Last month I wrote about the state of my goals for 2018, and with just over one month left until 2018 exits stage left, I’m already thinking about my personal goals for 2019. Successfully following through on the targets I set myself gave me so much in the way of achievement – goals give us long-term vision, short-term motivation and focus our minds to enable us to make the best of our time and our resources. Goal setting is one of the keys to living purposefully and celebrating the life we’ve been given. That being said, plenty of us have good intentions that we struggle to follow through, and this has been true of me until this year. It’s not by any means unusual to encounter a slump in motivation along the way, and you shouldn’t beat yourself about it. If 2018 was not a good year for achieving things, how can you make 2019 better?
Start From Zero
Many professional project managers follow a budgeting system called ‘zero based’, which simply means no finances carry over from one year to the next, and no plans are considered pre-approved. It’s literally a fresh start. This approach can work really well with personal goal-setting as well. Don’t automatically transfer goals over from last year or even last month if they aren’t working for you. Consistently making no progress is demoralising, so if you aren’t seeing any movement at all then perhaps it’s actually the wrong goal. Cutting things out that you can’t achieve is important, because it gives you the energy to focus on areas where you can make a change. We change over time and so should our aspirations and ambitions. Don’t be afraid to postpone or ditch an area where you can’t seem to make progress – you can always revisit it with fresh eyes later on.
Prioritise Your Desires
You may have a whole heap of things you want to achieve, from going travelling and seeing the world to completing a course of study, spending more time giving back to your community, working towards purchasing a home or even wanting to pay off debt in collections. All your aim are important, but you need to learn to prioritise just a few so as not to spread yourself too thin. Think about some goals you may have which will enable others – like paying off a store card so you have more money to save and invest, or completing an internship so you can then make some contacts in your chosen field. Make sure your bigger picture vision is broken down into a sequence of achievable smaller steps and you are more likely to succeed.
Often we can be hard on ourselves, or so focused on what we want that we don’t realise how far we’ve come. If you are a driven, alpha personality like me, then it’s easy to fall into habitual self-criticism. Learn instead to be your own personal cheerleader and celebrate the changes that you have made happen. Sometimes it’s the small things in life that can give us a big boost and actually help us to stay on track for the big stuff.